793 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215
On March 17th we and a small group of friends went to dinner at Rosendales. We were excited to be among the first in the city to experience what Richard Rosendale has worked his whole life (I think he’s 30!) to create.
Let’s start with the built environment. Richard hired Columbus architect Andrew Rosenthal to create the set on which the Rosendale’s team would perform. The space works very well, has enough noise create the bustle and flow you would want a “happening” place to have. My one complaint about the space is that the backs of the booths are too vertical for my troublesome back. The chairs, however, are comfortable enough to encourage you to linger, enjoying the food, the atmosphere and the company of friends. And the lighting is good enough for these older eyes to actually READ the menu - which is extensive, and full of options for almost any palate.
So lets talk about the food; Jan began with the Spicy Red Curry and Eggplant Soup with Lamb Sausage. We have never had an eggplant soup before and this one was explosive with flavor, and texture. Not a lot of spice from my standpoint but I am jaded in that area. Jan loved it. Elliot and Marcia had the “Organized Caesar Salad” This is a cylinder of romaine lettuce , a base and top of parmesan lace, a grape tomato, and a black pepper emulsion. To me this looked great but seemed small. I was assured that the appearance is deceiving and that its taste and mass are worth the $9 cost. Cheryl and I each had the 48 Hour Beef Short Ribs with potato gnocchi in a parmesan scallion butter sauce. Ok, this was well presented, but my first reaction was “where’s the beef?” since there were no ribs, just the two small, perfectly cooked, flavor-packed pieces of beef. Loved it, wanted more. At $12 it seemed a bit high priced, but the flavor was wonderful.
Larry had the Endive, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad with soaked raisins, apricots, candied walnuts, and orange hazelnut vinaigrette. I didn’t get a chance to taste this - Larry has been on these excursions before and has learned to sit as far away from me as possible.
Linda, however, was right across from me and I did have the opportunity to “taste” her Tomato Tart, with olive oil sorbet, balsamic streaks, bacon and endive. The sundied tomato wasn’t like any I have had before and must have been house made - perfectly dried, with none of the toughness that sometimes plagues these tasty treats. The olive oil sorbet was delicious and truly a new experience. You need to try this. A near bargain at $10.
The main course began when Jan’s Potato Crusted Grouper arrived. The fish was perfect and the potato was crispy but not over done. It was good enough that I would consider ordering it on our next visit. The fish was served with asparagus and oyster mushrooms which Jan kept to herself while praising them with every bite.
Marcia and I ordered the Braised Four Story Farms Veal Shank. I was expecting a really TALL presentation, but was informed that Four Story is a BRAND, not a description. It arrived on a soft and delicate polenta with fried leek rings, organic vegetables and a most aromatic jus. This was $30 and worth it. The meat was oh- so-tender and flavorful, and the leek rings a pleasant new item for me.
Gary ordered the Monk Fish, which arrived in a plastic bag (described on the menu as Fata paper) surrounded by shrimp, fingerling potatoes, fennel and red peppers in a bouillabaisse sauce. The fragrant aroma that escaped the opened bag was most pleasant. The subtle combination of flavors and textures that filled this $28 bag of treats was stunning.
Several in our group ordered Elysian Fields Lamb Rib Eye, with sweet red pepper, goat cheese risotto, vegetables, rosemary and olive oil. I was permitted a taste and found the lamb was wonderfully tender, full of flavor and done to perfection - definitely on my list of must-order items for a future visit.
I would ever so briefly like to talk about desserts - we tried several because they ALL sounded TOO good and priced right at about $7 or $8 each. The Sour Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote and Kumquat Sorbet was smooth, rich, creamy. The Grapefruit Panna Cotta with grapefruit gellee, vanilla basil, and steeped grapefruit segments may sound like a strange concoction, but it is a delightfully refreshing combination that works on multiple levels. The Crepes with exotic fruits and coconut ice cream had a super balance of flavors and textures. Finally, Crème Brule prepared in a shallow dish over a layer of huckleberries and topped with almond granola put a new slant on an old standard – like meeting an old friend in a new setting.
There is much more here than I have told you, so you really need to try this new addition to “Fine Dinning” make a reservation, and check out the web site. www.rosendales.com
OtherTips: See “Flannel Pajamas” at the Drexel Main Street – a definite “Drexel movie” as our middle son would describe it. Interesting, thought provoking, “different” from the standard movie fare. And stop by the Hi-Beck Tavern on a Monday night for yummy complimenary pizza when you buy a pitcher of beer.